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DINING

Sweden up your holidays

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IKEA Julbord

4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9
4092 Eastgate Drive
407-355-3155
$9.99

If Thanksgiving left you tired of turkey and jonesing for something a little more exotic, IKEA Orlando brings traditional Swedish Christmas to your plate tomorrow. The all-you-can-eat Julbord celebration features Swedish delicacies (hello, pickled herring) as well as rich, luxurious Nordic dishes. All the familiar IKEA grub will be present, including meatballs with lingonberries, poached salmon and gravlax with mustard, but the star of the show is the Swedish-cured Christmas ham, served cold with mustard. Feast on traditional beet and cucumber salads, assorted sausages and a gratin called Jansson’s Temptation, a layered casserole of sliced potatoes, anchovies, onion, and lots and lots of heavy cream.

Of course, this being IKEA, it’s priced for value. Adults eat for $9.99; kids 12 and under, $2.49. It may be cheap, but at least this is one IKEA purchase you won’t have to assemble yourself: Restaurant managers have ordered 8,000 pounds of ham and 2,600 pounds of whole salmon – be thankful you’re not the one in the kitchen.

More than 13,000 tickets have been sold in 37 stores for this year’s buffet, but there are just two limited seatings here in Orlando – one at 4 p.m. and one at 7 p.m. Consider the earlier time if you plan to stuff yourself; you’ll need several hours to digest, and IKEA’s restaurant might be the only one in the state that has beds in the same building. So after the eating’s done, you can settle yourself in a Poäng armchair or nestle in a Malm bed for a long, 70-degree winter’s nap.

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